Mar 30, 2013

Quick Update

Are you ready for Easter?  I'm not.  My family headed off to an egg hunt this morning and I tried to finish up some loose ends around here but I didn't get very far.  We didn't even color eggs this year.  Eeek!  It's ok though,  we never eat the eggs we color so at least this year we won't be wasting them. And, the girls will still get their baskets filled with candy and clothes.  Nothing fancy but at least it's something.

So, I just wanted to give you a quick update.  The response for these little itty-bitties has been phenomenal.  Miss M met her goal and we are working on helping a couple of girls make it to camp too.  So, we are keeping the items up until tomorrow night.  Her fund raising efforts will close out on April 1st - no joke, so if you want them, grab them soon.  

We really thought the headbands would sell best.  She sold a few of them but these flower sets have had the most interest.  We've even had requests for different colors. Soooo.....

here you go... We've added a blues set and...

a pastels set that has nice soft spring colors.

Plus, if you want them all the same color, say like all yellow or all white, we can do that.  It will ask for your color choice when you check out.  

and, check this out.  Look at that trim!  It makes my heart pound - I love it!  I'm working on a tutorial for you all using it .... I'm so excited.  See you tomorrow.  


All the flower pins are available now for purchase as well as many other things, check them out here:

Mar 27, 2013

Almost There

Please see the update at the end of this post

First, Thank you all so much for your kind words about my last post.  I really appreciate it.  Sometimes it's hard to put your heart out there but I felt like I should so I am thankful for your kindness.

Second,  just an update.  Miss M is only $3 dollars away from meeting her fundraising raising goal.  $3 dollars!  If you missed it, you can see the original post here.  She is working on earning money to pay her camp fees.  Girls camp for us happens once a year, in the summer.  She is encouraged to pay her own way and she is soooo close.  If you feel so inclined, please go check out her items in my Etsy shop.  She is selling headbands and floral bobby pins.

The pins come in a set of 7 and you can choose at check-out whether you'd like them in the grouping shown above which is multi or if you'd like to get a full set of just one color. 

They look so cute on!  Perfect for spring or pulling your hair up for a fancier occasion.

And, her head bands are cute too.  Lots of different patterns to choose from, 19 of them to be exact.

They are the no-slip variety and have a comfort hold, no pinching!

Anyway, if you already checked these items out, awesome!  Thank you!  If not, and they interest you, head on over to Etsy and browse a bit!

Thank you!!!

I put this out there and within just a short time, she had her last purchase and reached her goal  - THANK YOU!!!  We are leaving the items up and any extra money she earns we are going to donate to some other girls we know of that can use the help getting to camp.  :)  So if you had thought about purchasing these items, please do.  Your funds will still go towards a good cause.  Thank so much!

Mar 25, 2013

Heavy Heart and My Story

This morning I woke up to sad news.  Another amazing mother has left this earth.  It happens all the time.  We hear stories on the news.  We all know somebody who knows "somebody" that is dealing with a loss.  But the commonness of death, well, just because we know it happens, doesn't help soften the blow.  It still hurts.

This mom is the one we helped last fall.  I made jewelry.  You bought it.  And combined we were able to help lend some much needed financial support for her and her sweet family.  My heart is heavy to think about her children who will be without her.

They will spend the remaining days of their lives thinking about her.  The older girls will remember her, the younger ones will remember the stories that other people tell them about their mom.  I know this because I was a "younger girl" when I lost my own mom and my memories, other than the sad ones, are all from stories I'd hear other people tell me about her.

Dawn's passing brings back so many thoughts and emotions.  I've often hinted at my own loss but have never really shared my story.  This is personal and not at all crafty, but I feel like it is time.  My own daughters will read my blog one day and I hope in some way, putting this out there, will help them as they navigate their own life and trials that may come.

Here's my story:

On a normal Friday morning in February, 30 years ago, I was up and getting ready for school.  I had, like so many days before, gotten myself ready.  I packed my school stuff up and went into my mom's room to kiss her good-bye for the day and let her know I was on my way.  We said good-bye and I headed down the hall to the kitchen door where I'd make my normal exit and head to school.

Before I reached the end of the hall, I heard a noise that I could not identify.  It was scary, it sounded desperate and dark and I remember clearly the fear that hit my bones when I heard it.  Something was not right and being only 9, I did what all 9 year olds would do, I ran to tell my mom and seek her comfort.  The problem was that as I headed towards her room, the noise only got louder and when I reached the doorway  I saw that the noise was coming from her.

My mom, who was only 42, was hanging half on and half off of her bed.  Her eyes were rolled back, her body was shaking uncontrollably and she was in full blown cardiac arrest.

This image will never, ever leave me. It was last time I saw her alive and her body was violently revolting against her.

After that it just seems like things went into movie mode.  You know in the movies when they try and put prominence on a stressful or emotional scene by putting it in slow motion?  That's how it felt.  Nothing went fast, even though I wanted it to, nothing moved.  I wasn't in slow motion but everything around me was and it was confusing.  I did not understand.

The paramedics were called.  They carried her out the door on a stretcher and we followed the ambulance to the hospital.  She was pronounced dead shortly after.

For years I never really understood why she died.  Just that she was gone.  Gone!

In life we don't remember things in chronological order, instead we remember moments.  Be they good or bad, it's the moments in our life that shape and define us.   This moment was the beginning of how my life would be defined.

My mother's death was my connecting point to others.  It's was a pivotal moment in my childhood much like going to Disneyland.  Obviously the joy wasn't the same but the magnitude of the event was the equal.  It was just something I knew and it was part of me.  Once in fourth grade, not long after her death, we were studying Presidents of the United States and I raised my hand to make a comment.  I announced to the whole class that I was just like Abraham Lincoln because he lost his mom when he was 9 too.  I said it in a happy way, like, hey look at me, I'm cool and have this weird connection.  Needless to say there was an awkward silence.  It was another slow motion moment as the whole class stopped.  The kids didn't know what to say and the teacher just starred at me.  It was the first time I realized that just because it was an important part of my life, not everyone wanted to focus on my loss like I did.  I started talking about it less after that.

I also quickly realized that other people didn't really know what was going on either.  There was lots of kindness, some sincere, some out of obligation.  Lots of people expressed concern but in the end, their pain from my mother's passing was not deep. It would eventually go away.  It wasn't the same as the sorrow that I was experiencing.

People often have good intentions and would say what they thought was comforting like "It's part of God's plan and this is all happening for a reason".  I have a hard time believing that.  If you think it happened for a spiritual  reason than you believe that there was a strategy planned out and her death was on purpose.  The God I whole heartily believe in isn't a schemer.  Why would He scheme a plan to take my mom from me?  What would his reason be for that?  Why would he intentionally cause pain?

I don't believe he does.

Instead, I believe some times things just happen.  Our bodies are not meant to live forever, this is a fact. The infection that surrounded her heart was too much for her physical body to handle.  The reason she died was because her body was not healthy.

For me, I believe God's plan has more to do with our spirits than our physical bodies.  Her body died but her spirit did not.  I miss her physical presence and I wonder about her on a daily basis but her spirit lives on.  She's everywhere.  She's in my Bug who spends time with a flash light writing poems when she should be sleeping.  She's in my Miss M who has a strong sense of herself and a desire for things that are true and right.  She's in my Jet who is compassionate and likes to perform.  She is in daffodils and springtime.  She's in rain and candle light.  She is in a beautifully colored sunset.  And, you know what?  She is in me.

She is in me!

It took me years to realize that I had some choices concerning my loss.  I could dwell on it.  Wallow in it.  Feel bad for myself or I could use it for good.  Becoming a mom myself helped confirm that I needed to do the latter.

I wrote a post once about being a motherless mother.  I received so many emails from women who shared similar experiences. Sharing my honest thoughts helped others connect, process their own feelings, and remove the helpless feeling of being alone in their tragedy.  I think my words helped for the good.

I've been able to use the experience for good as I share my faith and my belief in being able to be with my mom again.  This life is not the end, we are an eternal family - I know this.

And, I'm able to use this loss for good because I truly believe it has made me be more aware and lovingly as a mother. I cherish my role as a mom more than any other that I have.  I'm not a pro at parenting but I have a good relationship with my kids and it stems from having to learn at a young age what is truly important.

My relationship with them means more to me than anything.  Which means I will fight for them.  I will cry with them.  I will give them advice and unconditional love.   I will speak up for them.  I will dance in the kitchen with them (even if my husband thinks I've lost my mind).  I will worry about them.  I will comfort them.  I will share my faith and testimony with them.  But most of all I will love them with all I've got.  That way, if the day comes that my body is no longer strong and I can't physically be with them anymore, at least they will know that more than anything I loved being their mom.  That I love who they are now and who they will become and that they are mine and always will be.

Mar 23, 2013

Miss M and the Girls Camp Project

It's that time of year again.  We have started planning our our summer schedules, prepping for upcoming fun, looking at travel routes and blocking off dates on the calendar.  It's only the end of March but summer comes - and I must say, goes - so quickly.  Some advanced planning is always a good thing. 

One thing we always plan for every summer is girls camp.  It's a faith based camp just for girls aged 12-18.  I went as a kid and loved it. It was a significant part of helping me become me.  Miss M is currently my only girl that is old enough to go right now.  She's get's to be what they call a YCL (youth camp leader) this year and she is very, very excited.  

The down side for her is that she has to pay her own way.  As a parent, I'm all for it.  I think teaching my kid to work for what they get is important.  I think it's a life skill, that in our land of excess, sometimes gets forgotten.  Yes, it's easier to just pay for her, but that gives her the easy way out.  So, in her brain storming process of how she could earn money to pay for camp, she decided to bring back her headbands.  She sold them last summer and wants to make them again.

So, if you are in need (or possibly want) of some cute, no-slip head bands, she'd love to make them for you.  She currently has 19 different headbands of various colors and patterns available for purchase in my Etsy shop.  19!  That's a lot of choices.

Last summer, this head band, the black and white sheer one above, was her best seller.   

Followed closely by these sparkly ones.  These head bands are non-slip, they are backed with velvet and have soft elastic that helps hold them comfortably to your head.  Even though these were the top sellers, her other options are pretty cute too - so be sure to check them all out.  

And, here's a deal for you - buy 3 get one free!  
when you go to check out of Etsy, if you buy three be sure to leave her a note in the comment section telling her which head band you liked as your free one.

She's also selling these:

I know I just did a tutorial on them but you know, if you liked them but don't want to make them yourself, she's your gal - she'd love to make them for you.  They come 7 to a set and you can get them in a mix of colors like shown above or...

you can pick the color you like best and get ALL 7 in the same color.  The color options are gold, coral, teal, off-white, lavender, navy and tan (tan is not shown)

So, there you have it.  She'd love to make some things for you and in return, your order helps her get to camp!  It's a win-win for all involved!  She works, you get a cute item.

Go check out her headbands and flower hair pins in my shop:

And, thanks for helping her out!

Mar 21, 2013

Super Easy, Super Fast Bunny Cupcakes

Do you need a fast Easter treat but don't want to cook?  Ya, me too - so here's what I did.

Step 1 - Gather your supplies.  You will need:
Pre-made, pre-frosted cupcakes  (I bought mine from Wally-world as I had no desire to bake today.)  Jelly beans, mini chocolate chips, toothpicks and...

White card stock, pink or spring like papers, scissors, tape and a glue stick (not shown)

Step 2 - With the white card stock, cut out some ears.  I did this super quick.  Can you tell?  They aren't perfect or even but I kind of like them that way.  Then cut out the pink or pattern paper just a little smaller than the white ears.  See the photo above for reference.

Step 3:  Glue the two pieces of paper together. 

Step 4:  Attach a tooth pick to the back of each ear.  

Step 5:  Using a pen, add a little outline to each of the papers on the inner ear.  You don't have to do this, I just did it because I like the definition it gave them.  If you have an ink pad, you could ink them before you glue them in place, too.

Step 6:  Stick the toothpick ears into the little cupcakes.  Push them into place until the base of the ears touch the frosting.  Also, make sure you add the ears towards the back of the cakes so you leave room for their faces.

Step 7:  Next, add a jelly bean nose and two little mini chocolate chips for the eyes. 

And there you have it, simple, cute, little treats that look like you made them from scratch - only you didn't.  (Shhh!  Don't tell, I know I won't!)


Mar 20, 2013

Catchin' up

So this is just a quick little catch up post.  I feel like there is so much more happening than just jewelry around here.  I've posted a lot of that lately but check it out, here are a few things I'm super excited about...

Yarn!  If you know me, you know this is kind of a big deal as I'm so not a yarn girl.  Once, about four years ago, I tried to have my then 11 year old daughter teach me how to knit.  It didn't work.  Then I tried to have her teach me how to crochet, it didn't work either. She was a good teacher, I was just an uncoordinated student.  So, I figured that fiber crafting was just something that was not in my blood.  Besides, I do a lot of other things and knitting and crocheting are just two more hobbies that I don't need.  Well, fast forward 4 years and I am blessed to have a job where I get to touch yarn all the time.  It's so soft and the colors, oh the colors!  I love them all lined up and coordinated.  But still, I don't know how to use it.

I do know how to use my imagination though and looky, looky  I'm putting this fun Wool-ease yarn to work.  If what I've dreamed up in my head works, I've already got my next set of colors picked out and may just make a bunch of these.  We'll see.  Sometimes what I dream up in my head doesn't communicate well with my hands.

It's a slow process, I just do a little here and there but I'm loving it so far.  Plus, I love the colors all in a row. It's pure eye-candy for the creative brain.  I'm guessing you are curious about what I'm making, no worries, I'll keep you posted and will share it soon.   

Home Decor Samples:  I admit, I have a new addiction!  It's another visual one, look at this stack of fabric!  Jo-Ann's is clearing out a lot of their Home Decor fabrics so they are selling all their sample panels for only $2.  Umm, ya!  I kind of went crazy.  Yesterday a bought a small stack and then I bought more today!  These are fabrics that range from $14 - $54 a yard and are really nice upholstery fabrics so buying a sample square of them for $2 is awesome!.  I already have four projects planned with them - I promise I will show them and even do a tutorial or two.  Stay tuned.

Simple Jewelry:  I know I said above that I need to update you on things that are NOT jewelry but I have been making jewelry so it still needs to be a part of the catch-up.  Have you made these bird nest necklaces before?  They were the trend awhile back.  I made a bunch over the summer and, I must say, they are very, very easy to make.  I can do them in under 5 minutes.  Anyway, I love this necklace because it's springy and the three little eggs remind me of my three little chicks, I mean daughters.

Family Life:  Speaking of daughters, look what one of mine did for me.  I mentioned I'd like a picture of a temple in my living room so when I got home from work today, this was waiting for me.  My Miss M painted it.  She's dabbled with watercolors before, mostly just playing with them, but she has officially only had ONE watercolor class -  it was last Thursday.  The subject matter is the temple where my husband and I were married 20 years ago.  I was floored.  Such a nice thing for her to do for me.  

Broken Pets:  So, do you have pets?  We have two.  We love them.  But do you know how much it costs when one of them is broken?  This little guy had to be rushed to the vet the other day.  He decided to keep his head on a tilt, like it was broken, and he wouldn't eat.  An hour at the vet, two prescriptions later and $94 out of my wallet means he is doing much better.  He had an ear infection - the head tilt was his way of trying to compensate for the pain and dizziness he was experiencing.  Poor guy!  It was heart breaking and to be honest, I was happy it happened while my kids were at school.  This little guy belongs to Jet and man, it was sad to see him sick but I can't even fathom what it would have been like to see Jet's broken heart had we not been able to fix him.

Ok, I think that catches us up.  I'm off to work on my creations now.  Later gators!

Oh, oh, oh!!!!  I almost forgot - I've got a fun little Easter project in the works too.  No sneak peaks on that one, you'll just have to wait for the finished project.  :)

Mar 17, 2013

New Stuff

Just a quick little post.  There is new stuff in the ol' Etsy shop.    
(Mother's day will be here before you know it)

I'm lovin' this new Raspberry color - I'm not a fan of pink but I've always loved fuscia and magenta and this raspberry color is right along those lines.  It has a nice little shimmer to it too which is an added bonus.

You can see these designs at others in my shop.  And, seriously, just something to think about, Mother's day will be here before we know it.  These items, and many of my other pieces, all make great gifts!  

Mar 14, 2013

Same Heart

Being a mom is hard.  This is not a new discovery, it's something I've always known.  Sometimes, to make motherhood easier, I'd like to put on a comfortable pair of rose colored glasses.  I'd like to create a state of bliss that would blind me from seeing the reality of the disappointment, pain, concern, or worry that one of my daughters might be experiencing.   I don't have magical glasses to make it easier, instead I feel her pain as if it's my own because as a mother and daughter - I believe we share the same heart.

Now go, go hug your kids!  Especially your daughters!

***Edit 3/15 - I've had a couple of emails asking if this necklace is available for purchase.  Yes, it is.  It's in my Etsy shop.  You can choose your color and your chain.  Here's the info:  thenshemade/etsy

Mar 13, 2013

Easter Craft Review

I tell you what, having Easter in March is kind of throwing me off a bit.  I always associate Easter with April, and true, this year it's falls on a date really, really close to April but still, the calendar will still be March when we celebrate and that seems off to me.  March is for St. Patty's but Easter is coming and I should be prepared.

Easter for me is more spiritual than about large, over-grown man bunnies.  However, I still enjoy a good Easter craft.  Here's a quick review of some of my past favorites and the links to the tutorials on how to make them.  Some of them just might come in handy for you.  Enjoy!

Mar 10, 2013

MAXI-mum Success!

So, last Thursday we got a call from the school.  A cute little girl was in the nurses office not feeling well.  The following picture basically sums up how every day since then has been.  Four days of yucky!

Poor thing!  We'll have moments where we think she's on the mend but then her fever will come back.  So, needless to say, I've been at home a lot the last couple of days. That's the bad news.

The good news is that I've been home a lot the last couple of days!  And, because of it, I've had some sewing successes.  Want to see?

(you can click on the photos to see them bigger)

I made Maxi skirts for all three girls.  (Bug had to model Jet's pink skirt because Jet just wasn't up to it)

It all started when I took the girls shopping for fabric over President's day weekend.  I let them pick out some fabric.  The fabric got washed but then quickly shelved into the "to-do someday" section of my craft piles.  With the recent down time though, it was perfect timing to pull out the fabric and get to work.

Have you made a yoga-band maxi before?  Holy moly - they are easy!!!  Each skirt took me about an hour, maybe less.

I'm sorry to say I started to take pictures of the process with the intent of doing a tutorial but got too wrapped up in the sewing and forgot to take more.  The good news is that there are a ton of tutorials in blogland on this very subject.  Some better than others, of course, but they are there.  Or, just search pinterest for "DIY Maxi skirt" and you'll get a lot of results.  

I read a few but in the end just ended up making up my own directions.  I've never been good at following directions or patterns.  I'm very visual so just laying the fabric out and taking a few measurements, worked for me.

Bug's skirt is above.  She just wanted a solid color and choose a turquoise blue.  She has this lace vest that she loves and wanted a skirt that would go with it.  I think it's funny how my tween's are getting into the fashion thing.  Ugh!

Miss M's is next.  Actually we bought her a deep magenta knit to make a dress and the fabric shown, well, I actually bought it for me but when we brought the fabric home she kept saying how much she liked it soooo, it became her's.

I think Jet's is my favorite though.  She picked this pink stripe but it had polka-dots on the back.  If I was a better seamstress I would have made it reversible.  But I'm not that good.

Instead, I made it so the yoga-band was the polk-dot and the skirt was the stripe.  I love the contrast.  They have this fabric in blue and white and also in black and white.  I'm thinking I may need to buy more and make another one.

Anyway, all three skirts were quick and easy to make.  The girls love them because they are stylish and comfortable and I love them because they were pretty simple and in-expensive to make.  Just some knit fabric, thread and some time!


Mar 8, 2013

Itty Bitties

Good News!  If you don't want to make your own, I have several different color selections and groupings available in my Etsy shop.  Click the link below to see the selections and to make your purchase!  Thanks!


So two years ago I went on a flower kick.  I made a bunch of different flowers for my girls to wear in their hair.  I kind of went over board, I may have even been slightly addicted, and we had a ton.  They were all bigger flowers and they were great to have on hand.  Well, last Sunday, my little Jet did her hair for church and went on the hunt for a flower.  She couldn't find any.  After some digging we only found three.  Three!  We had a ton, now we have three!  And, all were too big and not her "look" anymore.  She's not 9 anymore after all!

She wanted something daintier and more sophisticated.  She didn't use those exact words but I knew what she meant. She's almost a teenager after all.   So, it was time to re-vamp the idea and make some new hair accessories and here's what I did...

Cute, right.  Dang it!  I'm kind of addicted to making them again.  You can see the first tutorial Here:  Flower Tutorial #1  Those were bigger and I used felt and larger hair clips.  Since these are smaller I eliminated the felt and clips and just used bobby pins instead.  Here's what I did...

Supplies:  You will need the following:
 - polyester fabric like lining material or satin
- bobby pins
- seed beads
- thread & needle
- scissors
- candle & tweezers

Step 1:  Start by cutting your fabric into three small circles of different sizes

Step 2:  Light your candle, and using your tweezers, hold each circle near the flame - NOT in the flame and move it around so that the edges of the circle are singed and melted.  They will kind of curl up, you want that to happen.

Here's what they look like after they are singed. 

Step 3:  Stack them up and choose the color of seed bead you want

Step 4: Thread your needle and starting from the bottom, run your needle through all three layers and through the bead.  I do this a couple of times just to make sure the bead is secure.

Step 5:  Finally, just turn it over and sew your flower on to the loop at the end of the bobby pin.

And there you go.  They are so easy to make and because you can buy this fabric for pretty cheap and it comes in lots of different colors, you can make a bunch of them.  

My older daughter liked them with three seed beads instead of just one 

and, look how cute they look in action.  You could wear just one or group them together like shown on my Bug. 

Ok, I'm off to make more.... catch ya later!